So you just found out you’re pregnant. Congrats! You and your partner, family and friends are all thrilled; but now the questions start occupying your thoughts. How do I know if I’m eating healthy? What time should I eat? How much should I eat? What foods should I not eat?
One of the first answers to tackle tough questions like these is by asking yourself yourself, “Do I eat healthy?”.
In most cases, a healthy mom makes a healthy baby. That is to say, what you do, how you feel, and what you eat will affect your baby in some shape or fashion. And while you may not feel the benefits of eating healthy now, your baby will thank you for it, and in the long run, your pregnant body too.
Your baby needs vitamins, proteins, minerals, and calories, and he’ll be getting it from you!
According to Heidi Murkoff who writes about pregnancy dieting, “both babies who are undernourished in the first trimester and those who are overfed in the third trimester may be at greater risk for obesity.” (Eating Well When You’re Expecting, pg 5)
When you eat enough healthy food, your baby has a better chance at being born healthy. In some ways, his personality also depends on the foods you consume. Eating foods that are high in proteins, minerals, omega fatty acids and other vital nutrients for your baby’s health correlates with your baby’s birth and development.
Check out just four ways eating healthy will help your baby.
Your baby is more likely to be born with a healthy weight
- He is more likely to have better sleeping patterns
- Certain foods loaded in Omega-3 fatty acids can optimize baby’s healthy, strong brain
- Babies are more likely to eat the healthy foods you ate during your pregnancy (hint: carrots and broccoli!)
In the first trimester you might feel too nauseous to even think about eating healthy.
In fact, you might be eating less than before you got pregnant. For that reason, it is recommended that you eat whatever foods your stomach can keep down.
On the other hand, you might be getting lots of odd cravings. Make a concerted dietary effort to limit your consumption of otherwise unhealthy foods. Remember, you’re doing it for yourself and your baby. Your baby’s taste buds are already forming at 8 weeks. For that reason, your baby is tasting and becoming accustomed to the foods you’re consuming. What you eat, the baby will grow up to eat also, whether that be unhealthy or healthy foods. Choosing to eat healthy now will have a healthier impact on your little one’s future.
In your third trimester, focus on eating protein, calories and omega-3 fatty acids, which are going to help optimize the baby’s developing brain. Baby’s brain will need all the nutrients he/she can get, so don’t hold back.
So, what are the healthy foods we are talking about?
Murkoff writes, “eating a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, choosing whole grains rather than refined ones, concentrating on lean sources of calcium and protein, and limiting fat, sugar, and junk foods.” (10).
You are in total control of the foods you eat and your baby will consume whatever you consume. This isn’t so much about what you shouldn’t eat, rather how you should eat, and it comes down to the simple truth that you, like all other human beings, should eat healthy.
Your body will thank you for eating healthy!
Pregnant ladies also find that they experience more comfort during their pregnancy when they eat healthy. Look at the list of pregnancy symptoms you might be experiencing now (or expecting) and see how you can reduce or prevent them altogether by eating foods with the right nutrients.
- Fiber and fluids-constipation
- Vitamin B6-helps reduce nausea and vomiting
- Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Magnesium-prevents premature labor
NOTE: Avoid high amounts of sugar and poly unsaturated fats to prevent Preeclampsia.
For more information about how you can improve your diet, check out Heidi Murkoff’s website on healthy eating or visit our clinic to get some resources and meet with a nurse on nutrition.